Car accidents affect tens of millions of people around the world each year. They result in short- and long-term injuries, disabilities, and the loss of life.
Most drivers will find themselves involved in a car wreck at some point, and knowing how to assist others can minimize injuries and save lives.
The following will help you determine what steps to take to protect your own wellbeing when helping other drivers and passengers.
Identify Potential Risks
The most important thing when helping others in a car wreck is to remain within your comfort zone. This keeps you fully aware of the existing risks and minimizes the threat to others.
This may be difficult when others panic or go into shock. So find individuals to whom you can delegate actions such as calling 911 and the police, gathering first aid supplies, or remaining in certain areas to avoid danger.
Prevent Additional Collisions
Traffic doesn’t stop after a car wreck has occurred. Other drivers may not be aware that an accident has taken place, which increases the risk of secondary collisions.
Take steps to set up warning signs, and ask bystanders or other drivers to warn oncoming traffic as you attend to the needs of others.
Gather any available flares from other drivers to create a signal for oncoming traffic. Turn on your emergency blinkers so that other drivers slow down as they approach the scene.
Bandages, gauze, and other materials can prevent bleeding and reduce other related risks. But it’s important to know when to leave the care of injuries to the professionals.
Broken bones and other forms of trauma should be left to first-responders who are more familiar with addressing injuries. But there are some simple rules that you can keep in mind.
Make sure that injury victims remain calm while waiting for emergency personnel. Talk to anyone who has been injured and reassure them that help is on the way.
Avoid moving any injured person from the scene unless there’s an immediate and life-threatening risk such as a fire or gasoline leak.
Use clothing to stop any bleeding if other materials aren’t available, and make sure that the person remains conscious until help arrives.
Good Samaritan laws protect you from any liabilities when helping others in a car wreck. But drivers should be aware of their limitations and the responsibility to their own wellbeing when providing assistance to others.
Other Important Tips
Other things to keep in mind when helping the injured after a car wreck include moving your own automobile out of the flow of traffic and turning it off before getting out to help others.
Your car may also be used to protect any injured people on the road by creating a barrier against oncoming traffic.
Broken glass, fires, leaks, and smoke all pose additional risks to everyone in the area. Children may often be overlooked when helping injured drivers. These are just a few key things to remember before deciding what steps to take first.
When calling emergency services, provide as much information as possible including location, injuries, the number of cars involved, and potential risks.
Repeat this information to the first responders to ensure that they have everything they need to help those who are injured.
Knowing how to assist the injured after a car wreck can minimize the risks associated with car wrecks. By caring for your safety and wellbeing first, you’ll be better able to help those around you.